If It Is Unsafe to Tell You No, I Cannot Tell You Yes
If it is unsafe for me to tell you “No,” what happens if I do? If it is unsafe for me to tell you “No,” and I tell you “Yes,” what does my yes mean? If it is not safe to tell you “No,” does it matter to you what I think, feel, and want? If what I think, feel, and want does not matter to you, how do you think I feel about my life in this relationship? If it is unsafe for me to tell you “No” then you do not care what is important to me and cannot love me, so the relationship is all about you and has nothing to do with what makes me a person.
What kind of a person makes it unsafe for others to tell them “No?” The answer is not difficult or complicated. This person is self-absorbed. This means that the only feelings, wants, and needs that are important to them are their own. This person feels angry, threatened, abused, and misunderstood anytime they do not get their way, and they tantrum. Picture a toddler throwing a fit because the child did not get their way. Why do they do this? They are punishing the one who denied them. They believe that if they make the one who denied them miserable enough they will get what they want.
Does this describe your life circumstance? Does your mate make it unsafe for you to say “No?” Are you afraid to assert yourself and say what you think and feel, or do you go along in order to avoid your mate’s anger and verbal assault? If this describes you in your marriage, help is available. Call a marriage and family counselor in your area and learn how to live with dignity and self-respect.
–Dr. Orville Easterly
Copyright 2011 – Dr. Orville E. Easterly All Rights Reserved – Do not copy.